Thomas says Cobblers negotiated a good deal for Villa-bound Chukwuemeka after striker turned down contract offers at Sixfields
Teenager joins younger brother at Premier League club
Chairman Kelvin Thomas has revealed young striker Caleb Chukwuemeka turned down several 'good contract offers' from the Cobblers before choosing to leave the club in favour of Premier League side Aston Villa.
The 19-year-old forward has left Sixfields for an undisclosed fee after the club were unable to convince him to put pen to paper on a professional contract.
The Chron understands the initial fee is around £300,000 but that could reach seven figures and beyond with add-ons. The club also have a sell-on fee.
Thomas said: “With his scholarship finishing in February, we made good contract offers to Caleb but once there was Premier League interest his agent informed us that he felt they would like to pursue that option which we understand too.
"Caleb’s situation is also quite unique with his brother recently signing a professional contract with Villa so there was already a very strong family connection with the club.
“As with any transfer we had to take all the factors into consideration like length of contract, playing opportunities in League Two, the offers on the table and what’s in the best interests for the club and the development of the player.
"Once we decided that the transfer was the right decision this window we then had to ensure we got the best deal for the club which includes both any initial fee and also add ons as Caleb develops.
“We have felt the club - prior to our ownership - has been guilty of selling players a little cheaply especially when negotiating the add-ons, however we are in a stronger financial position now so we don’t have to take the first offer available and we have a much better negotiating position.
“We wish Caleb all the best and look forward to him coming back and supporting us while we will follow his future development at Villa with pride. We also thank Aston Villa for their professional dealings throughout the transaction and we look forward to continuing our good relationship.”